I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about Plotting. As I'm not a plotter, this should be interesting!
I'm attempting to plot out a rewrite. I love the story and the characters, but there are huge issues with the story - mainly lack of tension between the 2 MCs. It's a contemporary romance so (d'uh!) I need tension. They're both too sweet and nice and get along and... yeah, no tension. There's lots of external stuff to keep it going, but it's not enough. Not nearly.
Hence the need to plot! Hope you'll pop on over and join the discussion - I could use some suggestions!
Hutchison Mc Queen is a sixteen-year-old smart
kid who screws up regularly. He’s a member of Larkston High’s loser clique, the boy who’s on his way to nowhere—unless juvenile hall
counts as a destination. He squeaks through classes with his talent for
eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. When that doesn’t work, he goes to Fat Nyla, the one some mean
girls are out to get and a person who’s in on his secret—he can barely read. And then Maggie happens. For
twenty-five years she’s saved boys from their own bad choices. But she may
not have time to save Hutch. Alzheimer’s disease is steadily stealing her keen mind.
There often seems to someone on the attack lately. I've been teaching for a lot of years and I've seen lots of attacks on books as well as attacks on people who choose to read certain books.
To me, the attacks are usually a waste of time & energy ... and just a little bit nuts.
Some people become absolutely inflamed because of what they think is in a book.
Whenever a new fuss pops up I think back to a student I'll call Amanda. She was in my split grade 6/7 classroom for 2 years. During our first reading conference of her Grade 6 year, Amanda admitted she'd never actually read a book on her own. Reading was very tough for her and by the time she finished sounding out words she'd almost always lost the meaning of the sentence.
She thought she might like some of the Goosebumps books everyone was talking about. There was a lot of fuss at the time from people who wanted to ban Stine's series from classrooms and libraries. There were people who claimed teachers were 'evil' for allowing kids to be exposed to them. (I question if any of those people actually read any of the books!!)
Being me, I had over 30 Goosebumps books to choose from. She selected 2 and I read them into tapes. She tried to read along with my voice during reading time.
Then she read one on her own.
By the time she finished Grade 6, Amanda had read 17 Goosebumps books on her own.
Over the summer and during her Grade 7 year, she moved on to Stine's Fear Street series. And Christopher Pike. And Caroline B. Cooney. Then Lois Lowry and JK Rowling. And many, many more.
Her grade 8 teacher was shocked she'd been a non-reader 2 years before.
Ridiculing anyone for their choice of reading material is yet another kind of put down. The world has enough of those.
I'd rather see the build ups. I'd rather celebrate the Amandas of the world who demonstrate perseverance and are willing to admit to a difficulty and take the risks involved in becoming stronger.
If I only stocked my classroom with my favourite books, it would still be a very large library, but it wouldn't rival the 5000+ books I stock today. The more variety I have available, the easier it is to find those Home Run books for kids and turn them into avid readers. Do I have to personally like the books they choose? Nope. Do I have to support their right to like them.
How do you feel about the folks who want to dictate what we read or judge us based on the ones we choose?
paranormal author started writing contemporaries
When I first started writing, way back when in high school, I wrote
about aliens. Specifically, aliens who possessed a teenage girl’s radio pretending
to be the ghost of her dead boyfriend.
Now, without getting into
all the things that were wrong with that (and all the things that were WAY
COOL), it does illustrate the place from which my imagination was born. I’ve
always written paranormal, or horror, or some form of supernatural. I’ve had vampires
in my books, immortal warrior dudes with commitment issues, ballerina spies
with metal and gears for legs, and werewolves involved in satanic rituals. The
crazy list goes on.
So why did I suddenly decide to write a contemporary romance about two people
starting their own tech companies at an industry convention in Antigua?
Well, the truth is, all the stories I’ve written have one thing in
common besides the paranormal aspect: they challenged me in some way. One book
I told in first person point of view because I’d never done it before; another
book I wrote because I wanted to turn the trope upside down and make the
heroine the vampire instead of the hero. I wanted to challenge myself to write
a zombie book that could also be sexy. I wanted to challenge myself to write a
With IN BED WITH THE COMPETITION the challenge was to write a full
length contemporary romance. I’d written short contemporaries before but not a
full length book, and I always thought I would need serial killers, or bombs,
or something abnormal to make a story about two regular people interesting
enough to keep readers with me until the end.
But the truth is…I really liked it.
And now I’m writing another one. I bet you want to know what the
challenge is going to be for the next book, don’t you? *grin*
JK Coi (www.jkcoi.com)
is a multi-published, award winning author of contemporary and paranormal
romance and urban fantasy, who loves writing dark, tortured characters that
leap off the page and into readers hearts. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Carlson and Ben Harrison used to be friends,
coworkers...and almost lovers. But that was before Ben proposed
mixing business with pleasure. Elizabeth refuses to lose her heart to a hotshot
tycoon with a cutthroat, take-no-prisoners attitude. Not with the prospect of
starting her own
company at stake.
to succeed in all areas of his life, Ben couldn’t resist the temptation to make
Liz his. But then she walked away, igniting a bitter rivalry. Competing
for the same contract at a Caribbean conference ignites sparks too hot to
ignore, and Ben’s determined to finish what they started, even if it’ll only
last a few steamy, tropical nights.
resolve begins to crumble under Ben’s blatant seduction. Can she walk away from
a hot island fling with the sexiest man she’s ever known with her heart intact,
or will losing herself in Ben destroy everything she’s fought to achieve?
I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about People Watching tips. I LOVE to people watch and I've developed a few games I like to play. Watching people and looking for both the expected and unexpected is fun and I think it helps my writing. I think most writers are people watchers and look forward to hearing some of your stories!
I hope you'll check it out and add any tips of your own!
The lovely Shelley Sly's debut novel Wishing for Washington is out and about and it is AWESOME!! Tallia is an awesome character and I LOVE Shelley's MG voice - fantastic! The kids never stop aiming for their goals no matter what happens - lots of fun in this story. And lots of heart as well! One of my favourite things about the book is the relationships the kids have with the adults - varied, fun and realistic. I really enjoyed this story and know my students will too!
As punishment for playing doorbell ditch, twelve-year-old Tallia Thompson and her goofball brother Isaiah are shipped off to their grandparents’ house for half the summer. There’s nothing fun about being stuck in Maryland, a.k.a. Snore-a-land, except for one thing: the close proximity to Washington, D.C.
Tallia would do anything for Isaiah, and what he wants most is to meet the President of the United States. So together, they formulate a plan to get to the White House—a plan that involves spending a bit of money and concocting a bunch of lies. And, ultimately, a plan that ends up changing Tallia’s perception of her family forever.
Completely awesome!! So, where can you pick up your e-copy? Try these...